Reverb Imperial Pilsner | Boulevard Brewing Co.

very good
65 Reviews
Reverb Imperial PilsnerReverb Imperial Pilsner

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
With its classic recipe and impeccable craftsmanship, this summer seasonal is a study in delicately balanced contrasts. Up front, Pilsner malt makes a clear yet restrained statement, answered by the steady, harmonious hum of Saaz hops, traces of which linger in the dry, crisp finish.

32 IBU

Added by Reaper16 on 08-18-2012

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Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 333
Photo of felix_the_beer_cat
4.56/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Feeling like a Pilsner lately.
Went to Whole Foods and picked up a Reverb bottle.
Chilled it for a few hours - popped the cork - poured out a glass... wow!
The Beer Cat is looking at his wife and ready to pounce on her!

Seriously, I drink cause it makes me horney and this beer is it! Other then Delirium, Reverb is the one! Will report back after the coitus has taken place :)

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Photo of tigg924
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass at Driftwood Tavern--Plymouth

Appearance: minimal head, high carbonation, gold in color, clear

Smell: grass, grain, and toasted malt

Taste: grass, light honey, some grain, and a decent hop in the middle

Mouthfeel: light body, sweet with a bitter middle, medium carbonation

Overall: I generally do not like this style but like Boulevard so I figured I would give this a try. The problem I have with most versions of the style is that the way breweries imperialize pilsners is by adding massive amounts of hops or alcohol. When that happens, the grassiness and some of the refreshing qualities I like about regular pilsners get taken away. Boulevard is the first brewery I have tasted that still has a lot of the pilsner taste I like in their imperial version. The alcohol is upped, but I do not feel like I am choking on it. This is a very good beer and one I will get again. If I was not grading to style, it is probably closer to a 4, but it blows away every other example I have had in the style.

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Photo of Offa
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

I am in general a big fan of so-called Imperial Pilsners as they are a lot like a hoppier, lighter maibock, and this is an excellent one.

Gold, it has a very big white head, airy and slowly shrinking.

Aroma is strong, lightly toasty, raisiny grain, white bread, apples, grass, fruit skins (apple).

Taste is nice raisiny breadiness, apples, grassy-fruit skin bitterness with hint of herb. Zesty zingy bitter hop character dominates after up-front sweetness up front, but lots of sweetness and bitterness. It's excellent with lingering sweet and bitter, bread and grassy herb.

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P:  Slight hazed effervescent golden straw body with a creamy froth if white head with good retention. 

S:  Pilsner malt, lemon zest, orange peel, Orbit bubble mint gum, up front saaz, lemongrass, fresh grains, honey and acidic phenol aroma.  Refreshing and clean. 

T/M:  Taste follows the nose but is sweeter. Sunny grains, orchard fruit, herbal bubble mint, grapefruit, black pepper, wheat, lemon dish soap, and a balanced acidity.  Carbonated body that tingles the tongue and finishes dry. Lingering grapefruit, sourdough and timid booze.  Once the bottle was gone I had a lingering in my mouth of sharp cheddar. 

O:  I list for this beer. It's so balanced, fresh, and complex all at the same time. This 750 went quick. I want to grab more of this right now. Too bad it's too late. Oh well i can grab more in a few days and you can be sure I will. Stop what your doing and go get Reverb. 

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Photo of Groenebeor
4.29/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Beer Kitchen in KCMO. Poured into a 5 oz. tasting glass.

It pours a deep golden hue, although it's not opaque. Surprisingly clear for an Imp Pils, nothing wrong with that. Looks like a delicious pils. Could have been a little better with the head retention, certainly from an Imp pils.

It smelled of pale malt and noble hops. Not much to say here, however, it smelled great.

I'm not sure I like this being a smokestack. Please, Boulevard, make this a normal 6 packer! I love pilsners, and an Imp Pils is like a special version with even more pale malt and even more alcohol. Super malty, with a tangy hop presence that balanced it out quite well. Very sweet, almost juicy.

Mouthfeel was superb, very soft but not quite imperial. It was a bit light.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Another Smokestack Series Bully Beer that doesn't disappoint.

A deep straw, pale golden color pour. Has a bit of an orange tinge to it. White fluffy heads develops to about 2 fingers then relaxes.

A quick release of corn on the aroma, but then settles to a light cracker and biscuit maltiness. Some spices and fruit comes and go, with white pepper being the most noticeable

Flavor has that corn undertone, but it doesn't play very hard, which is nice. The malt is dominant with cracker and biscuit. The hops play an important fruity/ spicy role so as to not let the malt dominate and have the corn come back around.
Sharp and dry finish, a bit boozy. Very nice

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Photo of dwilkins
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pale yellow and cloudy - a bit too light for a pilsner. I have the impression that the cloudiness causes it to be more yellow than golden. A white, wispy, but minimal head persists during the entire glass - perfect for a pilsner head.

S - Cream corn with light maltiness coming through. A fault in anything but a pilsner, IMHO.

T - Very clean, very light malt flavor predominates. A little less hoppy than many pilsners. No citrus, fruit, kiwi/schwimi. A pilsner should be cleanly malty and this delivers. No hint whatsoever that it is boozy. I may detect just a bit of mustiness (some Tank 7 funk?).

M - Thick, chewy body as far as pilsners go. This is consistent with what I think I should find in an "Imperial" pilsner.

O - Wonderful. As a pilsner, it is ok. As an imperial pilsner, it is quite delicious and what I imagine it should be. I could easily get carried away with this as it hides its 7.7 ABV well.

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Photo of Reaper16
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle -- best by 04/13 -- served into a tulip glass

Before getting into this beer, I have to commend the label art. The label features an old tube amp, with "Reverb Imperial Pilsner" where "Fender" would normally be. There's an assortment of dials on the amp, but if you look closely those dials aren't labeled "volume" or "treble" or etc. They're labeled after the beer's stats! There's three dials on the "Kettle" section of the amp -- "water," "malt," and "hops." Then there's a "Ferment" section with the following dials: "Orig. Grav," "Final Grav," "EBC," "IBU," "ABV," and "Conditioning." Each dial is set to what the beer's approximate values might be on such a dial. Super cool.

Anyway, Reverb pours a somewhat hazy light golden yellow color. It doesn't look dissimilar to Hoegaarden. 1.5 fingers of rocky white head bubble up and the retention is pretty fantastic.

Reverb's aroma is much more nuanced and expressive than it was on the draft version I reviewed last night. Right away, this beer sends up notes of white flowers, pollen, lime peel, metal, plant stalk, and of course a whole lot of pilsner malt. Clean, nutty pilsner malt dominates this beer, but the hops -- what I can only presume is a ton of Saaz -- give off so many accentuating notes. The yeast doesn't get in the way (this is a lager, after all). It's lovely.

The taste of the bottled version doesn't live up to the aroma. This is definitely an imperial pilsner for fans of the pilsner style. Pound for pound, I'd say that Prima Pils or even Noble Pils are hoppier examples of the pilsner family. Reverb, while mostly balanced, ultimately lies on the side of maltiness. Tons of pilsner malt -- so much that this tastes luxurious or something, almost buttery. The Saaz brightens things up, especially on the finish, with its green and floral notes. It's definitely tasty, but I think additional hops would only heighten what is already strong about this beer.

The mouthfeel is also improved in the bottle. It's still a bit more flabby than I would prefer from a pils, but there's a good crispness and dryness to it just the same.

Overall, this is a very good imperial pilsner. It's tasty, refreshing, and nuanced. It shouldn't have replaced the world-class Two Jokers by any means, but Reverb is a beer that I'm glad exists.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours hazy straw under a fine 1” bone white head that slowly dissipates to a thick film that produces good lace. Spicy nose with light grains. Bread and grainy malt lead the palate to a drying, crisp finish with a touch of tartness. Medium body and medium to medium high carbonation. Full flavored but well balanced with a pleasant bitter hop accent on the finish.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 2012-1
(Served in a teku)

A- The clear dandelion yellow body has a slow carbonation with a thick bubbly snow white head. The second pour is full on hazy.

S- Herbal Noble hops have a cream aroma to them and are full but very mellow.

T- The big pils malt has a slight sweetness to it that adds to the freshness taste followed by a mellow green Noble hops with a soft dry field corn note in the finish.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has a great full flavor of Pils malt with just a hint of sweetness to make it fresh and nice full rounded hops without becoming bitey and no sulfur harshness either.

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Photo of bump8628
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brilliantly clear gold with a perfect dollop of pure white foam. Harmony between a soft, clean, elegant graininess and slightly aggressive Saaz. Honey, lemon zest, black pepper, and barley husk. Great balance, which seems to be difficult to achieve in this style. Great flavors, but what really makes it stand out is that the brewers managed to maintain that lean pilsner dryness. Four packs of this would be nice to see in the future

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Photo of rajendra82
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pale golden colored body looked very much like a typical Pilsner, but the carbonation was much more lively, and made it look like a club soda. The beer initially had little head, but the fizz formed it soon afterwards. The smell was clean and malt, with a hint of grass as well as lemon. The taste was much more intense than I expected, with a flavors of of honey, white pepper, banana, bubblegum, and a hint of lavender and blonde raisins. The beer was light in the mouth and had a peppery aftertaste. This was definitely quite interesting.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip/pokal like style glass. 2012 GABF gold medal winner in the Other Strong beer category. Minor pop off the cork. Batch 2012-2.

This beer is a real looker I think. A gorgeous orb glowing unfiltered lemon and brass like yellow, hints of green edges too. A real nice creamy head forms, wonderful pinhead even bubbles and consistency. Pours about three fingers, and settles slowly, always has a nice collar and even a minimal puck while consuming. This is one impressive looking animal, I am really digging this I could look at it all day, it looks like a killer Belgian pale ale, complete with the microscopic little pinhead bubbles rising up.

Nose is interestingly straightforward and simple. A bit of crisp malt, and some nice grassy hop like action. It's clean, not boozy, not sugary sweet or bursting with alcohol heat. While I like for bigger bread like action this is just simple and solid. Gives no hint a big beer is coming.

Palate hits with a nice simple body. Does not give any hint this is a big beer. Clean crisp malty finish, with grass. A good sense of carbonation that doesn't overpower, but a good non boozy taste. Finishes clean as advertised a little bit of honey. As the beer warms up there is a real nice fruit component to this. Hints of green pear and mild apple come out with a nice mild warmth.

Overall very impressed with this one, lots of fun, and more Boulevard win too.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a Boulevard tulip.

Batch Number/ 2012 - 1
Best By Date: 04 - 2013

A: Pours a nicely hazed pale gold color with 1 1/2 creamy fingers of bright white foam on top. Perfect carbonation and lacing.

S: Bold and bright, lemon-y noble hops take center stage with supporting help from mildly toasted malt. Very crisp and clean. I couldn't keep my nose out of the glass!

T: See above. Very tidy and tasty.

M: Full and coating. Good staying power. Hints of white pepper in the finish.

O: Glad to see this one hit the shelves again under a different name. I'd love to try this on draft sometime.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into lager glass, best before 2/2014. Pours lightly hazy golden straw color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big lemon zest, pear, apple, pepper, cracker, bread, light honey, floral, grass, herbal, and floral/yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with bright and balanced notes of hop, malt, and yeast esters; with great strength. Taste of lemon zest, pear, apple, pepper, cracker, bread, light honey, floral, grass, herbal, and floral/yeast earthiness. Light earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, light fruits, pepper, cracker, bread, light honey, floral, grass, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of bright hop, malt, and yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very crisp, smooth and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent imperial Pilsner style. All around great balance of crisp and bright hop, malt, and yeast flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of russpowell
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch#2 best by 04-2013

Pours an effervescent gold with 3+ fingers of pearl colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Breadyness, soapyness, hay, perfumy notes

T: Follows the nose, nice sweet breadyness, grass & soapyness up front, some lemon & grapefruit. Grapefruit, lemon, dryness & some grainyness as this warms. Finishes dry, with lemons, grassyness & grainy sweetness

MF: Medium bodied, soft carbonation, nicely balanced

A ramped up/amped-up version of their Pils with some American influence. I like this, would love to see this out in 4 pack next year

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Photo of srhoadsy
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served well chilled into a fluted tulip.

Pours a deep golden blonde with an inch plus of white, airy head that quickly recedes leaving moderate surface layer with little to no lacing.

Aromas of biscuits and honey.

Strong bready flavors with honey and just a hint of lemongrass.

Medium bodied and sweet, nice effervescence and a fairly crisp, dry finish. Lingering aftertaste, reminiscent of a saison. Little to no alcohol burn.

Overall, I was very impressed with this beer. Was surprised to see some of the lower scores on this one. Will definitely get again.

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Photo of draheim
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL (batch 2012-2; best by 04-2013) into a tall weizen glass. Pours a clear greenish pale yellow w/ a big fluffy white head, sticky lace, ample carb.

Aroma is floral Old World hops, sweet grainy Pilsner malt. Elegant and balanced.

Taste follows nose. Light and lemony, refreshing, with a sharp bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, balanced, dry finish.

Overall a drinkable, refreshing Pilsner. Well done Boulevard.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a slightly hazy straw color into the pilsner glass with a nice thick, three fingered white head and lots of bubbly carbonation,

S - Lemons, spicy, mildly earthy, crisp malt aroma.

T - Follows the nose: earthy grassy spice, lemons, light honey, delicate and subtle pilsner malt appears midway through for a brief moment and disappears underneath another wave of grassy grassy spice, and lemons. Finishes with a crisp lemon citrus bitterness that hangs around for a few minutes before slowly fading. The bitter lemon finish leaves a slight tang on the palate. For a big pilsner, the alcohol is not a factor

M - Light medium body, dry and semi-crisp finish, light carbonation pricklies.

O - A nicely done Imperial Pils from Boulevard.

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Photo of DelMontiac
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a couple of these at the end of Summer 2012. Drank one right away and put the other back because I love drinking beers out of season. Love the label - reminds me of an old classic Fender amp. The neck ring label depicts a knob turned up to 11.

Poured into my Eskimo Joe's pilsner glass from a 750ml corked/caged bottle dated best by April 2013. Fills the glass with a hazy lemony golden hue with 2-3 fingers of snow white foam. Head subsides in a few minutes and leaves scant lace.

Aromas are subdued - grassy/floral hops are more pronounced when this beer is fresh. Biscuit dough is more pronounced after a few months due to the receding hop aromas, I'm sure. Sweet lemon remains the same.

I like pilsners and this one has great flavor. Fresh crisp peppery hop bite balances out with the sweet malty biscuit dough backbone. A wisp of lemon makes it very refreshing.

Medium mouthfeel with that sparkling crisp pilsner carbonation.

This is a great pilsner that I will seek out next Summer as well. Another win for the Smokestack Series.

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Photo of Stoutfan23DJ
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tall lager glass at 45 Degrees, Batch #1 of 2012.

Appearance: Pours a clean golden gold body with a white one finger head that dissipates into a ring around the glass and moderate carbonation. A classic looking pilsner.

Aroma: Sharp, toasty pilsner malts, lemongrass, lemon, mild floral hops, dried rice, and that astringency of flavors directly to the nose.

Taste: Right off the bat I get a lot of malt. The grain/malt bill is the star attraction here from beginning to end. The bitter/floral hops are there but very subtle here and I was a little letdown that they weren’t showcased along with the malts. I also get characteristics of wheat, lemon, herbs, corn and rice, a buttery flavor, and that astringency/funk that all pilsners seem to have. I have to state that when I started getting down to the bottom of the bottle, the beer started to change a bit, and the flavors (especially the hops) became a lot more prominent. I enjoyed this the most when I got to the second half of this bottle.

Mouth Feel: Very clean, crisp, refreshing, and very drinkable. The alcohol is well hidden, and the body and carbonation is moderate.

Overall: Pilsners are not one of my favorite styles of beer and I rarely stop and buy them at bottle shops. I have to say that this would be best to have on a hot day sitting on the back porch barbequing and sharing with friends. I did enjoy this, especially when I got to the second half of the 750mL bottle. It was nice to have a hand-crafted pilsner for a change brewed with quality ingredients. This is definitely a giant step over all the other massively produced adjunct brews available out there. I’m a real big fan of Boulevard’s line of Smokestack series beers and I when I heard that they were going to make an imperial pilsner I realized that I haven’t had a craft brewed pilsner yet and I just had to purchase a bottle and give it a chance. This beer was well crafted and moderately well-balanced, and if you a fan of pilsners, I would recommend picking this up while it’s sticking around and still fresh.

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Photo of jjanega08
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch Number/Best by date:

A= Pours a nice hazy light yellow color with a nice thick bubbly white head that rises to a finger high and holds great retention and lacing on the side of the glass.

S= Smells like a strong grassy hop aroma with a nice grain and hay character. A little yeasty character to it as well.

T= The taste is a nice light but noticable flavor. A subtle grassy flavor with a nice hay character to it. The flavors are light and subtle but they make i fun and interesting to drink.

M= Highly carbonated.

O= This is a nice subtle beer that somehow works. A great grainy hay flavor and enough hop character to make it interesting. It works and it's tasty. Don't pay an arm and a leg but try this if you like pilsners.

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Photo of HoppyBastard
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1 pint 9.4 ounce cage and corked bottle into a Shaker pint glass, "best by" date 02-2014, I really should pay closer attention to bottle dates.

APPEARANCE: pours a hazy, straw color with less than one-finger, white head that quickly dissipated until just a ring of bubbles remained around the glass, highly carbonated, there is almost no lacing to be seen on the glass.

SMELL: faint to the nose, bread, lemon, grass, some pepper.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, initially sweet, apples, faint lemon, assertive hops for a pilsner, finishes clean, the 7.7% ABV is barely perceptible and has a pleasant warming effect.

PALATE: highly carbonated, medium body.

OVERALL: this is my first Imperial Pilsner, I bought an old bottle but for this style it's not a big deal, I may update my review if I buy a newer bottle and it tastes different/better, I really enjoyed this beer even though it's a year past the "best by" date, it's a pilsner on steroids, every thing you like about the style but more of it, I love Boulevard Brewing Co. and the entire Smokestack Series, I would buy this again and recommend to anyone who enjoys beer, I hope to visit this brewery when I'm in town to watch the world champion Royals.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a light straw color with a thin white head.

Aroma was malty grains along with white grapes and herbal notes.

The taste was classic pilsner. Herbal notes, malty grains, grass, light white grape and finished with a moderate bitterness.

Clean and crisp mouthfeel and carbonation.

I enjoyed this Imperial Pilsner quite a bit. Will definitely have again.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a hazy straw yellow with 2 fingers of white foamy head which quickly dissipated.
very citrusy - lemon, orange, grapefruit. Bready, with a grassy bitterness in the finish
A very nice mix of tart citrus bitterness reminiscent of a grapefruit. A slight metallic taste in the background, with a sweet malty overtone. Bitter lemon peel type taste in the finish.
medium body, high carbonation, creamy on the lips, smooth and refreshing on the palate. 
a great beer overall, all of the alcohol is masked well by the great flavors. A very refreshing treat for any time of the year.

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Reverb Imperial Pilsner from Boulevard Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 333 ratings.
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